Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Developers prepare to break ground on new neighborhood between Masonboro Loop and Sound

Work will soon begin to prepare a large, undeveloped 64-acre combined parcel of land between Masonboro Loop and Masonboro Sound for a new 170-unit development, East & Mason. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy East & Mason)

WILMINGTON — Developers are getting ready to break ground on a large residential project, “East & Mason,” planned across from Masonboro Elementary School (formerly Parsley Elementary).

East & Mason LLC obtained its final permit approvals last month to move ahead with its plans to bring 133 single-family and 40 duplex lots to Masonboro Loop Road.

Related: New residential project claims ‘density bonus’ for 64 acres of undeveloped land off Masonboro Loop

The company closed on the project last week, according to Chip Bishop, general manager of Robuck Homes.

“If the rain would stop, we’re moving dirt pretty soon,” he said Monday.

A subsidiary of the Raleigh-based Robuck Homes, East & Mason will sell a majority of the homesites to Robuck to develop. Bishop said the company is still working out which builders it intends to work with on the project.

Robuck Homes has developed projects in the greater Wilmington area over the past five years, with recent projects including Wyndwater in Hampstead, Melton Oaks in Wilmington, and The Hamptons in Holly Ridge.

East & Mason is being planned on a dense, 64-acre combined undeveloped parcel of land, with entrances on Masonboro Loop and Masonboro Sound Road.

“With the site planning, it’s probably not going to be a very convenient cut through,” Bishop said of the new Loop-Sound connection. “We worked really hard on our site planning to try to keep from that being the case.”

Site plans submitted to the City of Wilmington last month show the project will feature 25 acres of open space. Excluding the 4.7 acres of wetlands on the site, the project’s total density will be 2.93 units per acre. The neighborhood obtained a density bonus through a city approval process last year by qualifying as an “exceptionally designed project” by providing “environmentally preferred design techniques.”

East & Mason is being developed to cater to active adults and families. Bishop said the starting price point will begin in the mid-300s, and lots will become available in the third quarter of 2021, with home starts anticipated by September.

The project will generate an estimated 1,592 additional trips over a 24-hour period, according to site plans. Plans for amenities are still in flux, Bishop said, but will include a pool and clubhouse geared toward accommodating a work-from-home population.

“The detail on the homes will be a very Southern, classical style of architecture with a coastal feel,” he said.

Bishop said the project will inevitably require land-clearing of the undeveloped lot. Though it will be difficult given site plans, Bishop said East & Mason is attempting to save significant trees.

“We’re making every effort we can. Unfortunately, with cluster developments, with everything we have to do, there’s a lot of clearing that’s going to have to go on. If you think about it, the home is going to take up a lot of the home site,” Bishop said. “We’ll be planting back a lot of oaks.”

As one of the last remaining large parcels of undeveloped land in the area, Bishop recognizes East & Mason is an opportunity to provide a complimentary infill project in an established residential area.

“We were extremely excited to get it,” Bishop said of the property. “It’s very unique. They’re not making any more of it down there. There aren’t many opportunities to do something special like this.”

View East & Mason’s plans submitted to the city last month. Click to expand.

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